Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has been told he must cut the club's wage bill in halve this summer due to the Teessiders' failure to gain re-promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Instead of challenging from promotion, Mowbray's side have spent the season battling for their lives down at the foot of the Npower Championship, and with 11 games left 'Boro lie six points above the relegation zone.
Gordon Strachan's nightmare spell at the club left them way off the pace in the race for promotion, and with a hefty wage bill which now must be trimmed with turnover in the Npower Championship significantly reduced.
"It's important to try to help manage the situation," Mowbray said.
"Ultimately, my job is to put a squad together that can be competitive and win football matches, and you need to know what resources you have got to work with to do that.
"We need to cut down the bush, trim it back, before we can start growing it again, and that continues to be the process."
The current bill is estimated at £20 million and the club are hoping to cut the bill to £6 million to save themselves from financial ruin.
With salaries expected to be less competitive, some of Middlesbrough's star turns might be tempted with a move away, and it's those that have come through the club's impressive academy that are likely to be subject to attention from the Barclays Premier League big boys.
"Some of the younger players in our squad who have done exceptionally well are earning very modest salaries and yet performing at very high levels," added Mowbray.
"They will probably be the ones that the bids come for. They are the dilemmas we are going to face.
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